Alien: Covenant

Blu-ray Highlights: Week of August 13th, 2017 – Thou Shalt Not Covenant (or Shalt Thou?)

New Blu-rays this week are inundated with terrifying bloody carnage, soapy teen romance, and drunken clowns. Geez, sounds like my seventh birthday party all over again.

Which Blu-rays Interest You This Week (8/15/17)?

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New Releases (Blu-ray)

Alien: Covenant‘ – The trailers for Ridley Scott’s new xenomorph splatterfest all made it look like a shameless retread of the original ‘Alien’ movie. Depending on whom you listen to, this was either a much-needed course correction after the disastrous ‘Prometheus’ or an even worse desecration of the franchise. I was so turned off by ‘Prometheus’ that there was no chance I’d pay to see this in a theater. Despite a surprising number of lukewarm-to-positive reviews, everybody I know whose opinion I halfway respect reported that the movie doubles-down on all the worst mistakes in ‘Prometheus’ (the idiotic characters and plotting) while offering nothing new but some overzealous gore. Audiences in general didn’t find it very appealing. The movie did about half as much business as ‘Prometheus’. Nevertheless, Fox is making a full court press on video, issuing the film on Blu-ray and UHD with several retailer exclusives (including SteelBooks at Best Buy) for each format. [Note that, despite ‘Prometheus’ and ‘The Martian’, Ridley Scott did not shoot this movie in 3D or have it converted. It has only ever been a 2D movie.]

Everything, Everything‘ – A teenage girl who can’t ever leave her house because she’s allergic to everything in the world has a forbidden romance with a neighbor boy and sneaks out to take a trip to Hawaii with him. Umm, I don’t think that’s how allergies work. You don’t get to take a vacation from them. But wait! The movie has a plot twist. By my merely mentioning that it exists, I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out what that plot twist is for yourself. I would’ve warned you about the spoiler, but do you honestly care? The movie is based on a YA romance novel that, remarkably, wasn’t written by Nicholas Sparks, just someone imitating him.

How to Be a Latin Lover‘ – Mexican comedian Eugenio Derbez fronted the $100 million smash ‘Instructions Not Included’ in 2013 and had another big surprise hit this year. In this one, he plays an aging lothario who struggles to reignite his powers of seduction after being dumped by his elderly wealthy wife. Actor/comedian Ken Marino directed, with supporting roles by familiar faces including Kristen Bell, Rob Lowe, Rob Corddry, Salma Hayek and Raquel Welch.

Chuck‘ – No, it’s not a big screen adaptation of the goofy spy series about a nerd with a computer database in his brain. Originally (and much more evocatively) titled ‘The Bleeder’, Liev Schreiber stars in a bio-pic about boxer Chuck Wepner, who had a brief moment of fame after fighting Muhammad Ali and was allegedly Sylvester Stallone’s inspiration for ‘Rocky’. Hubris, failure, redemption, and other sports bio-pic clichés are reportedly the order of the day, though Schreiber’s performance is said to be very good.

The Wall‘ – When his big-budget ‘Edge of Tomorrow’ underperformed, director Doug Liman scaled back to make a war thriller with only three characters and a single location. Aaron Taylor-Johnson and John Cena play American soldiers pinned behind a crumbling wall by an Iraqi sniper. According to reviews, Liman works very hard to milk this scenario for maximum suspense, but the movie runs out of steam and inventiveness by the end.


In addition to ‘Alien: Covenant‘, Fox also upgrades its predecessor ‘Prometheus‘ to 4k.

Matthew McConaughey fans might be interested to check out ‘The Lincoln Lawyer‘ in Ultra HD. All right, all right, all right…

Luke Hemsworth (older brother of Chris and Liam) ironically did not get to play a cowboy in ‘Westworld’. However, he gets a chance now by starring as famed gunslinger Wild Bill Hickok in the Western ‘Hickok‘, which seems to be going direct-to-video (exclusively in a UHD + Blu-ray combo pack or a separate DVD, but no standalone Blu-ray edition). The IMDb user reviews for it are pretty brutal.

Catalog Titles

It should surprise no one that Fox would milk ‘Covenant’ for the opportunity to bundle the franchise into an ‘Alien: 6-Film Collection‘ box set. If you can do basic math, you should be able to figure out that the two ‘Alien vs. Predator’ movies are not included.

Twilight Time gets into the seasonal spirit with Elizabeth Taylor in the Tennessee Williams adaptation ‘Suddenly, Last Summer‘, Paul Newman in the William Faulkner adaptation ‘The Long, Hot Summer‘, and the Japanese WWII drama ‘The Emperor in August‘. Breaking from the theme are the Elvis musical ‘Kid Galahad‘ and the Joe Pesci hitman comedy ‘8 Heads in a Duffel Bag‘. I wasn’t aware that the latter, a box office flop, had any sort of cult audience who might be willing to pay Twilight Time prices. Does it?

The Criterion Collection jumps into some espionage intrigue with the 1980 Walter Matthau spy comedy ‘Hopscotch‘. The label then turns serious for a moment to examine the British lower classes in ‘Meantime‘, the breakout feature for director Mike Leigh and actors Tim Roth and Gary Oldman.

The Warner Archive engages in some ‘Night Moves‘ with Arthur Penn’s acclaimed 1973 detective thriller starring Gene Hackman.

MGM’s 2014 Blu-ray edition of Sergio Leone’s famed “Man with No Name” Western ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly‘ applied a controversial yellow tint over the movie that left many fans displeased. In licensing the title for a new 50th Anniversary Edition, Kino has removed that tint (working from MGM’s master, color correcting it digitally), and also provides the film’s original theatrical cut (favored by many fans over the bloated extended cut, also included) on Blu-ray for the first time.

Kino then delivers another Western with producer David O. Selznick’s overwrought epic ‘Duel in the Sun‘ (or “Lust in the Dust,” as it was nicknamed at the time).

Machine gun-wielding badass Chuck Norris single-handedly rescues American P.O.W.s from their Vietnamese captors in the dopey 1984 action flick ‘Missing in Action‘, which gets a Collector’s Edition reissue from Shout! Factory.

Finally (and most excitingly!), long overdue for Blu-ray release is Bobcat Goldthwait’s hilarious dark comedy ‘Shakes the Clown‘. How did this elude the grasp of the Criterion Collection and wind up as a budget disc from Mill Creek? What an injustice!


We have lots of TV action this week, including the first season of ‘Riverdale‘, the second season of ‘Legends of Tomorrow‘, the fourth season of ‘The Blacklist‘, and the sixth season of ‘Once Upon a Time‘.

My $.02

As a long-suffering fan of the franchise, I’m going to have to force myself to watch ‘Alien: Covenant’ at some point. I just can’t justify buying a copy right now.

A lot of other titles are going on my wish list this week, especially ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’, ‘Night Moves’, ‘Suddenly, Last Summer’, ‘The Long, Hot Summer’, ‘Hopscotch’, ‘Meantime’ and, yes, ‘Shakes the Clown’.

What are your plans for the week?


  1. Csm101

    I’m picking up Alien: Covenant. Debating between the steelbook or standard uhd. I really like the artwork inside the steelbook. The movie was mildly entertaining in theaters but still feels like there could’ve been a movie between this one and Prometheus. I’m hoping I’ll enjoy it more at home. I’m very interested in The Good , the Bad, and the Ugly reissue, but the screen caps I’ve seen look kind of teal now. Maybe at a sale price. I didn’t check it, but The Wall seems kind of interesting.

  2. Lord Bowler

    I’ve already pre-ordered ‘Alien: Covenant (SteelBook)’.

    I might pick up:
    ‘8 Heads in a Duffel Bag’ (Twilight Time) – This was a hilarious movie, surprised that Twilight Time would put it out, though.

    I’ll have to look into ‘Missing in Action: Collector’s Edition’ (Shout! Factory), I already own this on Chuck Norris 3-Pack Blu-ray. Not sure if I’ll double dip.

    I’ll rent the following, or catch it On Demand.
    ‘The Wall’ (Lionsgate)
    ‘Once Upon a Time in Venice’ (RLJ)
    ‘Broken Mile’ (Gravitas Ventures)
    ‘Duel in the Sun: Roadshow Edition’ (Kino), I’m a big fan of Gregory Peck and have never seen this movie.

  3. Chris B

    I liked Alien: Covenant when I saw it in the theater and plan on picking it up eventually after the price drops. The wall sounds kind of cool and I was a big fan of EOT so I’ll do my best to check it out. I can’t help but kind of roll my eyes at the reissue of TGTBTU. How many more times are they going to milk this thing for the home video market?

    • You can expect to see TGTBTU reissued at least one more time, possibly two more times. We know they’ll release it on 4K before long – but whether we get both editions of the movie in one release is the big question. If not, then you can look forward to the other edition earning yet another re-release.

      • Chris B

        Yeah I expect the 4k release…I just meant this is the 3rd BD release to my knowledge. In addition to the myriad of Laserdisc and DVD releases….they’re really squeezing every penny out of it.

  4. I’m in the minority who loves ‘Prometheus’ and even I want nothing to do with ‘Covenant.’ Although I watched (and loved) all six seasons of ‘Lost’ as it aired, thanks to ‘Covenant,’ I now know what it feels like to completely abandon something that previously pumped you up because the middle part got so bad. Thanks to ‘Covenant,’ I finally understand that complaint.

    • Chris B

      Not a fan of Covenant at all eh? Have you written a blog post or review expressing your complaints about the film? I’d be interested to hear your perspective being that you’re such a big fan of Prometheus.

      • Csm101

        Just watched again this morning, and I think one my biggest problems with this movie is giving these Aliens too much back story. After watching these movies for so many years and wondering what they are, I’m not so sure I like what I was given. I don’t want to say too much more for spoilery reasons. Some of the characters behaviors were much too erratic and irrational upon second viewing as well, just like in Prometheus. It’s still a fun popcorn flick.

  5. Deaditelord

    Having been in that apparently smallest minority that liked Prometheus and Alien: Covenant, I’m looking forward to watching Covenant again on UHD tomorrow. I sort of want Prometheus in UHD too, but I can’t imagine not watching it would in 3D (Prometheus was the movie that made me a fan of the 3D format). Missing In Action I’ll grab when it goes on sale. I’m also interested in The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but I think I’ll hold off for now as I would prefer a UHD version.

  6. Am I the only one who liked Prometheus? I might pick it up in 4k, although 3D will probably stay my prefered method for viewing.

    Alien Covenant is a rental for me, unless I can find it at some point very cheap, then I might blind-buy it. Although if it is a gore-fest, I may pass. I am okay with a little gore (I was fine with Alien, Aliens and Prometheus), but I shut Alien 3 off about 45 minutes into it. Never saw Alien 4

  7. Alien Covenant 4K Steelbook awaits me at Best Buy (literally.) And Missing in Action is en route via Amazon, was $12 and change. Will likely get Once Upon a Time #6, usually DMC has some steal of a deal. Wish/watchlist is The Wall. On the DELAYED list (Delay Video, aka Arrow Video) I had originally slated Ronin and Don’t Torture a Duckling this week, but I see they’ve lived up to their name, Delayed.

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